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-   -   Pension Worry (https://britishexpats.com/forum/africa-84/pension-worry-936716/)

Muskoka15 Jan 21st 2021 11:12 am

Pension Worry
 
I work for an educational charity in West Africa and receive my salary in $US. There is no employer’s pension available to me and, while away, I am not paying UK National Insurance. I am aware that I can make good my NI shortfall, but wonder whether anybody could suggest how I could find a suitable private pension I could pay into. I have 5 years of contributions to the UK teachers’ pension, which is currently frozen. I am 35 and have no plans to return to the UK for a few more years. I now reside in Ghana, but use my parents’ address for UK correspondence. Any advice would be very gratefully received.

uk_grenada Jan 21st 2021 2:07 pm

Re: Pension Worry
 
It’s a serious business but professional advice is always skewed by their need to avoid you sueing them for bad advice so they are always conservatives.

I played the uk stockmarket for years. When I moved abroad I handed management to a big investment firm - Rathbones- but they like most aren’t interested in you as a client if you have less than a few hundred thousand for them to manage - but they easily outdo any pension return.


uk_grenada Jan 21st 2021 4:20 pm

Re: Pension Worry
 
Another option is to invest in a basket of investments - in other words funds. As you are offshore you cannot pay into a uk ISA and enjoy tax free benefits thereof but being offshore you may be able to benefit from that, but its again an expert subject for which you need the advice of offshore investment people based probably in the channel islands, isle of man or even caymen. If you are deemed us based you face further hurdles [hopefully not]. Remember - the acquisition of wealth is always via investment ultimately, it simply depends who you allow or choose to feed from your profits, and is a different thing to buying an annuity or pension. For decades pension firms have robbed clients by hiding that.

Norm_uk Mar 23rd 2022 1:02 pm

Re: Pension Worry
 

Originally Posted by Muskoka15 (Post 12962158)
I work for an educational charity in West Africa and receive my salary in $US. There is no employer’s pension available to me and, while away, I am not paying UK National Insurance. I am aware that I can make good my NI shortfall, but wonder whether anybody could suggest how I could find a suitable private pension I could pay into. I have 5 years of contributions to the UK teachers’ pension, which is currently frozen. I am 35 and have no plans to return to the UK for a few more years. I now reside in Ghana, but use my parents’ address for UK correspondence. Any advice would be very gratefully received.

I just came across this and thought I would reply in case you're still looking for advice.

From what you've stated you should probably look into keeping up NI payments while outside as a matter of course. It's inexpensive and gives a little bit of a safety net for you. You should probably start by looking at your UK teacher's pension to make sure it's working for you as well - focusing on the structure it's in and the underlying investments.

In essence a pension is simply a means to build enough funds/assets to provide you with an income when you decide to stop work - how you go about that can vary and with most expats it's usually wise to have a couple of things going which work you towards those goals such as investing in funds and stocks and bonds and buying assets that can provide regular income like rental property. There's rarely one-size-fits-all and taking an holistic approach based on your personal preferences is key - and with respect, no one can give specific advice without knowing a lot more about your personal circumstances and goals - anymore than you could receive sound medical advice without a proper examination.

These days there's a lot of choice from straight forward low cost trading accounts you can just drip feed money into ETFs that grow with time in a simple, passive way that will often beat 75% of professional investment funds, but that have no particular tax efficient structuring, all the way to specific pension plans which can be quite complex, and in my 15 years experience as a qualified Wealth Manager, expensive for the investor (and lucrative for the advisor). There's also options with property which can make a fine addition to retirement portfolios.

As mentioned, without fully understanding your position and goals specific advice isn't possible (or ethical). I'd be happy to have an initial no obligation chat if you want to send over a PM. I am a qualified with over 20 years expatriate experience under my belt.

N.


MidAtlantic Mar 23rd 2022 2:10 pm

Re: Pension Worry
 

Originally Posted by Norm_uk (Post 13103144)
You should probably start by looking at your UK teacher's pension to make sure it's working for you as well - focusing on the structure it's in and the underlying investments.N.

The UK teacher pension scheme is a (very good) defined benefit scheme. There is nothing for the OP to do in terms of structure or investments.


Norm_uk Mar 24th 2022 8:30 am

Re: Pension Worry
 

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic (Post 13103160)
The UK teacher pension scheme is a (very good) defined benefit scheme. There is nothing for the OP to do in terms of structure or investments.

Indeed it is - if you read what I posted I suggested looking at to be sure it's doing what the poster needs it to do, not to change anything about it.


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